- Josh Weinfuss, ESPN Staff Writer
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TEMPE, Ariz. – Some of Logan Thomas' passes during the Cardinals' rookie minicamp Friday were darts.
They hit receivers in stride, whether it was from 5 or 30 yards. But some of Thomas’ passes sailed high, wide, low and wobbly.
All of them, however, were seen in person by the entire Arizona Cardinals’ staff. For the first time since the drafted rookies and undrafted free agents convened here last week, they, along with 17 tryout players, had the full attention of the coaching staff.
During the three-day organized team activity earlier this week, the rookies were relegated to the Cardinals’ second practice field, where they were able to get reps but away from the live eyes of Arians, who watched them on tape after practice.
For Thomas, who Arians said got 25 percent of the snaps during OTAs, rookie minicamp was a chance to take the majority of the snaps.
“It means a ton just because you get to see multiple different things that you don’t normally get to see,” Thomas said. “I get two snaps every five reps [during OTAs] and here I got every one of them, so it’s very nice to be able to have that chance to see things.”
Arians said he was impressed with a few of the tryout players, enough to say they had a chance to unseat a few of the rookies.
With the entire staff watching, that meant the coaches saw the good, the bad and the ugly.
“A couple [of tryout] guys caught my eye that may look better in these two practices than the guys who’ve been here for eight days,” Arians said. “We’ll swap them out. That’s the cold part of the business. Every single day you’re being evaluated, and learning is one of the things I put the most premium on.
“If you can’t learn it by now, the basic stuff and you’ve been here eight days, you’re probably not going to be able to learn it because the volume is just going to get bigger.”
Arians acknowledged how difficult it is for the rookies to only have about a week’s worth of time learning the offense before trying to run it full speed. That includes Thomas, the Cardinals’ fourth-round pick out of Virginia Tech, whose accuracy fluctuated at times. Some plays weren’t his fault, while other times the ball seemed to get away from the 6-foot-6 signal-caller.
Thomas’ first full-team drills were two run plays then he progressed into passes. A few were behind receivers while others were out of reach. Thomas, however, showed the poise of a veteran while throwing the ball away when nothing was open. He also fumbled a snap.
“When he knows what he’s doing and the guys around him know what they’re doing, he’s pretty good,” Arians said. “Biggest thing for him is try not to, as you’re dropping back, decide where you’ll throw. Get back there. It takes him too long to get back, and then he’s ready to throw but his feet aren’t there yet. Get back, move your feet. He has all the talent in the world.
“It’s processing information and getting the ball out of his hand. And that’s experience.”